Tuesday, April 15, 2008

DiversityInc: 7 things never to say to people with disabilities

DiversityInc, a publication on diversity and business, which is both a Web site and a monthly print magazine, writes April 14 about inappropriate things that are said to people with disabilities.

Thankfully the article doesn't tackle this topic without expert advice in the form of the National Organization on Disability (NOD) and Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF).

The article discusses culturally insensitive terms such as "handicapped," "retarded" and "slow," as well as supposed "compliments" to people with disabilities, like "but you look so good," implying that others with disabilities don't.

"These terms are unacceptable because they are linked to a history that the general public isn't aware of," Nancy Stern, vice president and chief of staff for NOD, says in the article. "And just like there are terms that you don't use for African Americans anymore, the same goes for people with disabilities."

"As the demographics in this country shift, there are going to be more and more people with disabilities in the work force. And as long as accommodations are available, there's no reason they should not expect to continue to work," Stern says.

DiversityInc appears to regularly run articles on these topics, such as "6 Workplace Myths About People With Disabilities," as well as similar articles on other diversity areas -- "7 Things NEVER to Say to LGBT Coworkers" and "10 Things NEVER to Say to Latino Executives."